Only games released in 2017 qualify for the top 5. In no particular order...
Doki Doki Literature Club
Disguised as your standard cutesy visual novel, Doki Doki will make you question your reality in ways you'd never have imagined. This game is best experienced blind, so I'm not going to write much other than the fact you should pick it up and play it now. Oh yeah, it's also free. You won't regret it, much.
Heat Signature comes from the creator of Gunpoint, another game I adore. If you liked the humor of Gunpoint as much as I did, you'll be sure to enjoy Heat Signature. Gameplay is pretty much Hotline Miami but in space. It's a great game to sink time into when you're bored or just looking for something to do. The amount of holy shit moments you can create using the unique weapons and tools make for an interesting experience every time you play. The galaxy is procedurally generated so no two playthroughs are the same.
NEKOPARA Vol. 3
Now when I said these were my personal top games of this year, this is why. The Nekopara series holds a special place in my heart, as Vol. 1 was the first visual novel game I played (as a joke for a video), but then I went back and bought it as a joke for a friend of mine and myself. Since I had spent actual money on it, thought it only fair for me to play it, and from that moment on, I was hooked. Each volume focuses mainly on two of the six main catgirls, with Vol. 3 focusing on Maple and Cinnamon. This game was about the same length as the previous two games combined, and has moments of extreme beauty in it. Maple and Cinnamon have a wonderful story arc over the course of the volume, which left me incredibly emotional at times. If you like visual novels, this series is a must.
Right, back to manly times. Prey is a horror game, at least that is what it's marketed as. Now as someone who really dislikes horror as a genre, including it in my top 5 sounds weird, however after seeing some trailers and pre-release footage, something clicked inside me that made me want to buy it. When a game from a genre I dislike hooks me, I generally take that as a good sign. Sure it starts off as a horror game, but as you keep playing and unlocking new abilities, the game can slowly transition to action-adventure (depending on the upgrade path you take). The transform from cowering in a corner waiting for the bad things to go away to almighty alien-human hybrid with both aliens and humans trembling in fear of your raw power is one of the best feelings I've had in gaming this year. I wholly reccommend picking Prey up, even if like me, you dislike horror games.
Space Pirate Trainer
Undoubtably the best VR game I've played ever. Whilst being in early access for ages on Steam, the 1.0 update was released October of this year, so I'm counting it as 2017
¯\_(ツ)_/¯. If you own a Vive or Oculus with touch controllers, you absolutely must pick up this game. Even if the wave survival arcade shooter in VR wasn't enough, as of the 1.0 update the game recieved significant love. With the addition of several new droids, new powerups, revised waves, new bosses, and auto-turrets to help you through that one wave you just cannot beat to save your life GOD DAMN IT. Ahem. Incidentally, the new final boss is "fun". This was the game that sold me on buying VR when I tried it at EGX Rezzed 2016, and it remains my absolute favorite VR game.
Games that didn't make the top 5 list for various reasons but I thought were still worth including:
DEEP SPACE WAIFU
Even if the whole anime shebang isn't for you, this game is a really fun bullet-hell. Good for those quiet moments where you just need something simple to do. And if you are into the whole anime shebang, bonus points. Oh yeah and there's an R18+ patch too...
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Whilst not technically being released in 2017, hence it not making the top 5, Subnautica is one of the better survival games I've played this year. I was gifted it for my birthday back in March and have been steadily revisiting it each time there's a major patch. An early access game I'm excited to see the launch for and is actively developed is a good early access game by my standards.
We Were Here
This game was a surprise to me, as a free little co-op indie game on steam, my first thoughts were "oh this just looks like a Unity copout", but after finding an
unwilling eager partner to play with, I soon realised it was a great co-op puzzler. It has you communicating complex things with only a walkie-talkie. Oh yeah, and there's a sequel out next year.